The traditional Baskerville Historic race meeting gets underway on Thursday with private practice sessions and organisers have listed 199 entries for the four-day meeting.
The special feature will be five races for the Group C (1973 to 1984) and Group A (1985 to 1993) touring cars that included a wide variety of makes such as the Holden Torana A9X, Commodore, Ford Escort, Mazda RX7, BMW M3 and V12 Jaguar XJS.
Under the Heritage Touring Car regulations all of the cars competing had to be as they originally raced in period, including colour schemes, and no replicas were permitted.
These genuine original cars are valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars but despite that their current owners will be racing hard and not just touring around the two-kilometre circuit.
The 20-car field will include the Roadways/STP Commodore that was raced by Allan Grice, Tasmania’s Steve Harrington and Colin Bond, the Bob Forbes/Kevin Bartlett Torana A9X and the Jim Richards/Tony Longhurst BMW M3.
Add to that the Shell Racing Ford Sierra RS 500 raced by Dick Johnson/John Bowe and the Toyota Corolla AE82 to be driven by 1966 Bathurst 500 winner Bob Holden who is 86.
At last year’s event seven-time Targa Tasmania winner Jason White drove the fearsome 1972 McLaren M8F sports car owned by the Dutton’s garage in Melbourne and it left everyone stunned with it’s spectacular speed and noise.
White will again drive the car next weekend although it has since been updated by Dutton’s motorsport guru Ben Henson with a more powerful 8.4 litre Chevrolet engine producing well over 800 horsepower in a car that weighs only 700 kilograms.
The recent Targa Great Barrier Reef winner established a new outright lap record at Baskerville last year in a Formula 5000 open wheeler and will be out to break that time in the historic sports and racing car events.
The Baskerville Legends-Spirited Demonstration runs will feature a mouth-watering line-up of great cars from the past including the 1986 Benetton B186 Formula One car that was previously raced by Gerhard Berger and will be driven by owner Josh Kean from South Australia.
... all of the cars competing had to be as they originally raced in period, including colour schemes ...
Three cars that were raced with great success by Tasmania’s John McCormack will be on track including the V8 Valiant Charger sports sedan to be driven by former Tasmanian Mark McLaughlin, the V12 Jaguar XJS to be driven by owner Mark Trenoweth and the Elfin MR5 to be driven by owner Bob Anderson.
Bruce Gowans will again line up in the beautifully-restored V8-powered Toyota sports sedan and two-time Targa Tasmania winner Greg Crick will have a run in one of the special Ford Escort Mexicos.
Crick will also drive in the Sports and Racing regularity events in the very first Brabham that was built and raced successfully in period by the late Gavin Youl while Windermere’s Graham Pitt will give his superb Renmax BN6 BMW sports car a run.
The Kit Ellis memorial race for minis has attracted 11 entries, including six from the mainland, so it should prove to be a fascinating battle to claim the prestigious trophy that honours a great mini exponent.
The HQ Holden one make class was started in Tasmania 30 years ago with the category going Australia wide, and the 15-car field for next weekend will be sure to put on some great racing as they have done all season.
Local driver Ian Beechey was the brains behind the original concept and to recognise his contribution the final HQ race will be the ten-lap Ian Beechey handicap race which all drivers will want to win.
In the Group NB over 3.0 litre and NC over 2.0 litre races there are two 1963 7.0 litre Ford Galaxie Coupes entered for West Australia’s Don Behets and Mike Moylan who are regular Targa Tasmania competitors.
They will be up against the Ford Mustang of Mike Lightfoot from Queensland and locals Warren Bryan in his Monaro GTS, John Talbot in his Ford Mustang and Darren Pearce in the Camaro.
Group NB under 3.0 litre may well turn out to be a battle between local Phil Shepherd in his amazing EH Holden and Spike Jones in his 1970 BMW 2002 with both of them vastly experienced especially at Baskerville.
In the Muscle Car Cup for over 3501cc cars there will be a showdown between former Tasmanian Andrew Miedecke and Launceston’s Adam Garwood in their V8 Ford Capri Peranas with veteran Leigh Forrest in there to keep them honest in his much-raced turbocharged Toyota Celica.
Friday will be devoted to official practice and qualifying with 26 events scheduled for Saturday commencing at 9am and 27 events on Sunday also from 9am.
On Friday night at the Casino six icons of the sport including John McCormack, Garry Rogers, Andrew Miedecke, Jim Richards and Fred and Christine Gibson will make an appearance.